On Friday Zimbabwe witnessed a historical moment where Emmerson Mnangagwa was sworn in as the new president of Zimbabwe in front of thousands of cheering supporters at Harare’s national stadium, bringing the final curtain down on the 37-year rule of Robert Mugabe.
Taking his oath of office, the 75-year-old known as the Crocodile vowed to uphold the constitution of the former British colony and protect the rights of all Zimbabwe’s 16 million citizens.
Mr Mugabe left office dramatically this week after 37 years of rule. His departure followed a power struggle in which Mr Mnangagwa was sacked as vice president to pave the way for Grace Mugabe, the then-first lady, to take up the presidency.
Mr Mnangagwa fled the country but returned to a hero’s welcome and on Friday struck a conciliatory tone.
Call to serve
“The task at hand is that of rebuilding our country,” said Mnangagwa
“I am required to serve our country as the president of all citizens regardless of colour, creed, religion, tribe, totem or political affiliation.”
South African President Jacob Zuma congratulated the new president saying he was ready to work closely with his government.
In a speech President Mnangagwahe said elections would go ahead next year and acknowledged there had been “errors” under Mugabe.